Friday, May 2, 2008

Thwomp Factory Fryday: Contact

Thwomp Factory Fryday is a weekly feature in which Amelia takes recipes out of a game with a cooking system and follows it as closely as possible. It will be posted every Friday until she runs out of money or gets salmonella.

Oh my. Thwomp Factory Fryday is experiencing some technical difficulties of the fun and not fun varieties. The fun kind was when I spent last weekend in Las Vegas with my brother, Joe. The not fun part is that I believe I left my camera's USB cable in his apartment. So this week's Fryday will not have pictures, and next week's will be so chockablock with awesome that it will be a sort of apology.

Today's food comes to you from Contact. Contact is an RPG for the DS that does more than its part to bring back the dying art of whimsy. The player is a separate entity from the main character, Terry, and with the aid of a mysterious yet clumsy Professor (and sometimes his space dog who wants to be a space cat) the two of them set out to help the Professor and return Terry to his home. Anyway, I think it is a top-notch game.

My Impressions of food in the game: I would feel erroneous to call cooking in Contact a mini-game. Actual preparation of food is more like a checklist (and I love me some grindy checklists) but the Cooking skill is integrated very nicely into the rest of the game. Even though a fancy prepared food item does little more than a potion, it levels up your Cooking skill which gives you special attacks with chef knives, bonus damage to some monsters, and other abilities. The other thing that I love about cooking in Contact? That you need to be wearing your Cooking Outfit in order to cook.

The Contact Menu:
Fruit Juice
Chicken Bites

Fruit Juice is made of Tropical Fruit and Water. After looking at all the fruit in the grocery store I finally decided on Kiwi, Starfruit, and Papaya. They seemed the most tropical and easy to carry home in my backpack while on my bike (but some day I'm going to make something out of a whole coconut.) As I proved in my Magical Melody cuisine, I don't have a blender so this time I tried mixing them all up in my coffee grinder, with just a spoonful of water. It was slow going but effective. The finished fruit juice was green, a little bit sour, but pretty good.

Chicken Bites are made of Chicken and Flour. So I just cubed some a chicken thigh, covered it in flour, and fried. Delicious!

Cheeseburger is made out of Hamburger Steak and Bread. Hamburger Steak is made out of Wild Game and Meat. This recipe confused but intrigued me. What's Wild Game? Why isn't it Meat? It sure sounds like Meat. The only item in the store that said "game" on it was a Cornish game hen. I bought one. After cooking that and a piece of steak I had in my freezer, I put pieces of both between two slices of bread. Cheese did not magically appear. Dammit. I had hoped it would. It was a pretty good meaty sandwich, though.

Croquettes are Potato plus Ham. So first I boiled a potato, then mashed it up, then added some ham. Then I deepfried them. I thought it wouldn't work very well, given the lack of anything sticky, like eggs, but they kept their shape and were actually very tasty.

My impressions of the real food: This was all pretty tasty, everything other than the Fruit Juice was pretty much just ordinary cooked meat. However, this was a LOT of food. I'll be eating what's left of this Contact menu for the next week. Also, why isn't everyone in the world of Contact not obese? Sure, there are one or two salad items in the game, but almost every dish is either potatoes, rice, or meat. Or a different kind of meat. Or "Wild Game". Upon thinking about it further, why don't they all have scurvy? Yarr!

Final thoughts: It must be all that running around they do, that keeps them from getting fat. And I guess they just drink a lot of Fruit Juice.


P.S. Next week will be awesome! Joe and I team up and make chili dogs Cooking Mama style! Mainly the "drop stuff down and catch it in a bun" minigame! And there will be videos!

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